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To: SJackson
"soak up these enormous pools of smart, ambitious young people."

Yeah sure, that's the problem, they are so smart and educated.

"there is almost no work ethic left in Saudi Arabia"

Like there ever was one? Before oil their wealth consisted of a couple of goats.

"reach out to the UN and NGOs, who have the skills that we lack"

Riiggghht. That is why Bosnia and East Timor and Cambodia are so much better off than Germany and Japan.

"why Jerry Bremer has to keep coming back to Washington"

Sure. It isn't that he won't even talk to the governing council and will barely give Chalabi the time of day. It's all because ducks in Washington aren't all in a row.

"the most secular, best educated, most progressive...a stable pluralist state"

In other words, the most socialist. The truth of the matter is the type writing this article is allergic to both religion and populism, in any variety. The only thing they can think of is to import a lot of UN secular socialists to run everything. Because democracy in a Muslim society makes their heads hurt. To them democracy means left and religion of any kind means right. Until they make practically the entire population into secular Democratic Socialists, they won't trust them with one iota of power. They then call this "liberal democracy".

"when we say democracy, Arabs hear Britney Spears, sex on TV, same-sex marriages and hip-hugger blue jeans"

In other words, they are culturally conservative and don't want your secularist social democrat dreck. They would be perfectly happy to have democracy. But wouldn't use it to make Baghdad into San Francisco. Bremer and the writer therefore will not let them have the reins. God forbid the first Arab democracy freely chooses a more conservative way of life...

"To me, Japan is more dissimilar from our form of democracy than Hosni Mubarak's Egypt is from our democracy"

Because Japan is capitalist, while Egypt is at least socialist. That Japan has free elections and its whole way of life reflects a profound national consensus does not strike him as "democratic". Because they are conservative, economically and culturally, not social democrat libertines. To the writer the whole point of democracy is to establish secularist libertinage. When it doesn't because the people simply don't choose that, he thinks it can't "really" be democracy. If people don't choose secularist libertinage, they must have "false consciousness" or be otherwise "repressed".

"need the Saudis to be able to put that money into their educational system"

Wait, I thought they were drowning in overeducated smart people, right? Is this going to increase their work ethic? The writer is for education spending and against defense spending not for any reason having to do with Saudi Arabia, but because in the US teachers are more likely to be liberal than fighter pilots are. He imagines the same would be true in Saudi Arabia. In fact, teachers in Saudi Arabia are mostly Islamic fundamentalists. Fighter pilots are mostly westernized and technocratic, conservative nationalists.

"economic and political problems are what motivate the terrorists"

No, what motivates the terrorists is religionist fundamentalism and anti-Americanism. What motivates western liberals is class warfare and party politics. The writer is projecting. His own reasons for hating various things about the modern west are based on class and party, so he assumes anyone else with anything against the modern west is a potential recruit to the same views. In fact, the aspects of the modern west that are broadly acceptable in the Arab world are capitalism and nationalism. The aspects that are anathema are libertinage and secularism.

"hijackers weren't the poor downtrodden"

Quite. So stop pretending they were, and that what they really want is secularist social democracy and libertinage. What the fundamentalists want is to kill us, there is no appeasing them and it is not worth trying. They should be defied, not appeased. What popular democracy would choose in the Arab world is much more conservative culturally and much more nationalist than the writer would like, but need not involve wanting to kill us.

What is needed in the Arab world is a democratic center-right, that respects religion without wanting war with the west. Half the reason the merely religious listen to the fundamentalists who want war with the west is they suspect the west wants to end all religion, period. The last thing we should do is send them thousands of UN and NGO secular socialists to run their societies without trusting the people, a mockery of democracy that they'd take as confirmation of those suspicions.

7 posted on 01/05/2004 6:34:32 AM PST by JasonC
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To: JasonC
Just as Germany needed an Adenauer and Japan needed an LDP...
9 posted on 01/05/2004 6:43:13 AM PST by JasonC
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